In some places the Torah tells the Israelites about to enter the Land of Israel to expel all its inhabitants. For example, in Numbers 33:52-33:55:
You shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you… You shall clear out the Land and settle in it, for I have given you the Land to occupy it. If you do not drive out the inhabitants of the Land, then those whom you allow to remain will be as spikes in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they will harass you in the land in which you settle.
Yet in other places the Torah says to kill the inhabitants outright:
You must doom them to destruction: Grant them no terms and give them no quarter. You shall not intermarry with them... for they will turn your children away from Me to worship other gods.
You shall not keep alive anything that breathes… You shall utterly destroy them … lest they lead you into doing all the abhorrent things that they have done for their gods.
So which is it? Expel or kill? It cannot be both. If you expel, you do not kill. If you kill, you do not expel. How do our commentators resolve the apparent contradiction?
In the end the Israelites did neither:
And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
Could it be because they were confused about what they were supposed to do?